In the fast-paced world of horse racing, where fortunes can be won or lost in a few short minutes there is always the temptation to use underhand methods to grab that much needed win or ensure your horses stay on top.
In the 70s, the Uruguay Swap scandal made international news when vet, Dr Mark Gerard purchased two similar looking horses, from the South American country, for his boss – a winner named Cinzano and a dud, Lebon. The good doctor then claimed the winner had been killed in an accident, with the unsuspecting owner claiming the poor horse’s insurance policy. As it turned out Cinzano was alive and the lesser talented Lebon had been laid to rest in his place.
Soon the true Cinzano was put to race under the recently departed’s name and as he romped home to victory at extraordinary odds, the crafty doctor made a huge pot of money on his bets. However the game was up when a racing editor from the horse’s home country recognised Cinzano for who he actually was. Dr Gerard found himself sitting with a one year sentence and a $1,000.
For a more detailed account and other racing scandals, find the original article here: http://www.nola.com/horseracing/index.ssf/2011/07/scandals_in_horse_racing_numer.html